Implats gets new wage demand

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Johannesburg - South Africa's Impala Platinum, the world's second-largest platinum producer, said on Wednesday it had received fresh wage demands from the militant Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU).

Implats spokeswoman Alice Lourens confirmed the demand but could not disclose details.

A senior AMCU official said the demand, if true, was coming from the rank and file and not from the national office.

“Implats does not recognise us. If workers are doing that, they are doing that on their own,” General Secretary Jeff Mphahlele told Reuters.

A turf war between AMCU and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) closed the world's largest platinum mine, run by Implats, for 6 weeks earlier this year.

The rivalry is also behind a wave of violence that killed 44 people in August near Lonmin's Marikana mine. Lonmin operations have been shut for almost a month and talks forged ahead on Wednesday to end the impasse.

South Africa's mining industry is being sucked into a vicious circle as labour unrest spreads from platinum to gold with steep wage demands neither sector can afford. - Reuters

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